Are You A Parent?



Well done.

Tech writing titan Johnny Ryan is the author of A History of the Internet and the Digital Future.

His new book is a grown-up look at the the history of the internet for tykes.

Johnny writes:

I’m writing this one for my own daughter. I want her to understand the ideas and inventions that shaped her world. I want her to have a framework of ideas that will help her grasp what might be coming next.

So, here is the idea in a nutshell. The story beings in 35,000 BC with a remarkable monkey bone. Cave men carved notches in to it to record numbers, and so far as we know that was the first time that humans tried to count things in their world.

From here the book leaps on to major advances in technology, thinking, and culture around the globe that made our digital age possible: The story ends with the 3D printer, the self driving car, and the emerging technologies of the near future….

I’m researching for this book and I’d love to ask you a few questions about your childrens’ reading to help me. This is a very short survey, just 2 pages. It would be a big help if you could share your insights….

Survey here

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17 thoughts on “Are You A Parent?

  1. Jessica Carroll

    “I want her to have a framework of ideas that will help her grasp what might be coming next.”

    What high-falutin’ bullpoo!

    Give her a copy of ‘Introduction to Excel 2015’, that’s what she will and the large majority of desk monkeys use in their soul destroying digital jobs.

  2. ahjayzis

    “I want her to have a framework of ideas that will help her grasp what might be coming next.”

    Jayzis the poor girl will be unsufferable reeling off startup-speak in the playground. #disruptiveparenting

  3. Isallimsaying

    The important lessons to impart are: The grammar police will never win; never proof-read what you’ve just written; when in doubt, don’t shy away from random guesswork and never bother to rephrase a complicated sentence.
    Here we go: It’s not ‘beings’ it’s begins, Cavemen is one word; ‘carved in it’ will suffice – too many ‘to’s. Don’t be shy to use a few more commas and leave out the colon.
    Hope this helps.

    1. greypalm

      Also, just to add ellipsis have three dots … , never four, or two or whatever takes your fancy. If you’re on a Mac, hold down Alt and press the semi-colon key.

          1. d4n

            No offence mate, but I’m a typographer, the standard ellipsis is three dots with spaces between, but two is acceptable where space is problematic, depending on who you ask, four dots can be used if it’s marking an omission between sentences, some also say that omissions should be surrounded with brackets, and if the original piece contains ellipsis, then squared brackets should be used.
            Others say that the dots should not be spaced, and there are other opinions on whether there should be spaces before and after the ellipsis itself.
            There are also specialised methods for legal and mathematical uses.
            But the generally accepted rule is that it’s up to the typographer, and general practice, as I already said, is three (unspaced) or two if space is an issue.
            Feel free to consult whichever style guide you use though

          2. Arcol

            No offence taken, I’m an editor. Agree there’s variation on whether spacing should be used between the dots at layout stage, and that’s essentially a design issue. Also agree that there’s varying opinions on whether 4 dots can be used, eg if a quotation is being truncated but ends on a completed sentence. But 2 dots would never be acceptable, at least to my mind, and I’ve doing this for a long time. I know if a typesetter ever reduced an ellipsis to 2 dots we would 100% send it back every time. That’s books though, other media might have different rules, in fairness. Of course other people might see it differently.

          3. Joe the Lion

            Yawn can you guys please have this fascinating debate about punctuation in parentheses full fupping stop?

          4. Arcol

            Apologies for posting that twice Joe. Doubly boring. I actually thought what D4n had to say was interesting though. Admittedly, Marvel are unlikely to be stealing the plot.

          5. Zarathustra

            Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma, Comma Chameleon;
            A Total Ellipsis of the Heart;
            Dash Gordon;
            [Full] Stop! In the name of Love;
            Apostrophe (‘)

  4. delta V

    “Once upon a time in the seventies, your dad grew up in West Cork, where the only connection to the world was screwed to the kitchen wall with a circle of 10 numbers, and 1 telly channel of black and white came on at 3 and stopped at 11.”
    Grandad monologue is all he needs.

  5. dylad

    My uncle had a sinclair led digital watch. You had to crawl under the table and get between his legs to read it the display was that dim.

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